How to gain potential students before you publish!

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AliciaPaz
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How to gain potential students before you publish!

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Early on I spent 150 hours to create my first course, recorded, edited, uploaded over days and then 2 days later It was live!  I was so excited and then refreshed, refreshed, refreshed finding the next day I had no students.  Seems silly now 5 years later, but there are ways to build hype, start marketing and gain a following before your course is live with little to no money.

 

Here's my short list of how to have students ready and eager to sign up before it's even live.

 

-Create a website.  There are cheap and even free options through sites such as Wix and Squarespace. Start collecting e-mails from potential students early on.

 

-Grow (or start) your social media following. Create new accounts (not your personal one) for your business; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.  I even have a Pinterest and Soundcloud!

 

-Use hashtags, if you are not savvy about this a simple idea is to go to your competition and see what they hashtag as a starting point.  I created notes with the list, so I can cut/paste when I post online fast.

 

-Gain Relationships: On social media, begin following those in your field, colleagues, and wherever your potential students are hanging out online. Many people join Facebook groups in their field and find this very helpful

 

-Interact, don't just post your own material. Share other posts, have genuine discussions, post (appropriate) memes and build genuine relationships with both potential students and potential referral sources that are two-way relationships.

 

-Be authentic! No one likes to have someone immediately sell you something or feign conversation to weasel into a sales pitch.  Engage in real conversations, answer questions and be a member of a group long before any sales tactics.

 

-Update your Linkedin and any professional sites with your new business name and plans. Join those groups as well and stay engaged in conversations.

 

-Set a launch date even if it's a few months out.  Build hype by adding to social media posts "5 days to go- home stretch!" Make sure this date is realistic, no one wants to be excited to start something tomorrow to find out it's not ready for 5 weeks. 

 

Interested to hear how others build momentum before launch. There's so much that one can do beyond hitting record to create a successful course. 

 

There are also many Udemty courses on this subject including ones by Phil Ebiner, Louise Croft and others that I have found very useful and some of this information is from.

 

Alicia 

Alicia Paz M.A, QMHP
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FrankKane
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An idea I learned from Jason Dion is to pre-sell your course to your own contacts a few weeks prior to launching it publicly. You can do this by putting your almost-complete course in "private" status, and distributing a password to your followers on social media / mailing lists / etc. to allow them to buy it before everyone else has access to it.

That way, your course will have some students, and hopefully good reviews from your existing followers, the second it hits the public marketplace! Plus a set of friendly eyes will check the course and let you know of any problems with it before it goes out to the world.

I tried this with one course, and it did help the course hit the ground running.

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Is this still possible to do?
Sounds like a great option to me, but how doeas it work actually?
Does it mean we have students going through the course, even leaving reviews, solving quizzes, assignments... BEFORE the course is reviewed by the udemy team?

Or, we submit the course for review to udem team, they publish it live, and THEN we make it private?
If so, what is the process for making a private course go live? Do instructors do it themselves, or does the course go through the review process by udemy team again???
Because if instructors can control the moment a course goes from private to live, that is a huge benefit! Makes a proper launch possible... I'd LOVE that possibility :)

Third option of course, is that Jason Dion publishes the course content privately on his web site. Then none of what I just wrote applies, lol ...

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Thanks for the great advice!

 

Best,

Sally

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AliciaPaz
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How has the free to paid worked for you so far?  I have one free course which in some ways is a smaller intro to a longer course coming and I find it has received more mixed reviews with no feedback beyond stars than my paid course. But I also now have more students, a second live course (others are private,) and an audience that if they like my course hopefully will sign up for paid ones- I did get 3 sales on my paid course of free course students on my first day of the free course!  I am constantly debating moving it to paid and see if it gets paid students and better reviews.  It's a 1.5-hour course where my others are 6+ hours, so it could also be seen as less valuable.  I know the general conscience here is to never have a free course, so wondering how it has worked so far.

Alicia Paz M.A, QMHP

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Hi Jerry:

Thank you for the great information. I have a setback because my course deals with social issues - domestic violence and no social media forum is accepting my ads.  In your number 5 point you mentioned: Run a simple contest to get emails.  Can you please give some insight on how to run that contest? Or can you point me in the right direction?

 

Thank you

Fiona

 

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Thanks for all these suggestions, Alicia, really great ideas. For a newbie to social media, I really need these kinds of tips. Smiley Happy

LL

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Thanks for the great advice!

 

Best,

Sally

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Thanks, @AliciaPaz ! That's great advice! 

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My idea is to make the course "FREE" until you get some reviews. The reviews I mean organic only, after that you can switch back to PAID

 

But I think , this can be done only one time

 

 

AliciaPaz
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How has the free to paid worked for you so far?  I have one free course which in some ways is a smaller intro to a longer course coming and I find it has received more mixed reviews with no feedback beyond stars than my paid course. But I also now have more students, a second live course (others are private,) and an audience that if they like my course hopefully will sign up for paid ones- I did get 3 sales on my paid course of free course students on my first day of the free course!  I am constantly debating moving it to paid and see if it gets paid students and better reviews.  It's a 1.5-hour course where my others are 6+ hours, so it could also be seen as less valuable.  I know the general conscience here is to never have a free course, so wondering how it has worked so far.

Alicia Paz M.A, QMHP

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@AliciaPaz wrote:

How has the free to paid worked for you so far? 

 

I am following your free DBT course and enjoying it. I think you've been generous to share such a detailed course for free, so thank you for making all this information available. You are very likeable on the videos, authentic and clearly spoken. I hope you have great success with your paid courses.


 

LL
AliciaPaz
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Wow thanks @Lizzy  for the compliment it truly both kind and inspiring.  More DBT to come in 2019! 

Alicia Paz M.A, QMHP

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I've registered as an instructor months ago and still can't put myself together those 100 hrs to get it all done and launched. U actually gave me the road map :) Startt building the hype then i'll be forced to wrap it all up, thank you Alicia  

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facebook groups are a good option and daily upload some new content

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Excellent tips.

 

Many Thanks

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Nice post! Congrats!!!

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Thanks Alicia. This will help me market my new iOS courses. :)

Anonymous
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New instructor here. Thank you for sharing your experience. Very helpful to get started!

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Question  re:

 

*  you stated, "Create a website.".  Are you suggesting to create a website specifically for the Udemy courses?  Separate from your existing website?

 

*  you stated, "Grow (or start) your social media following".    Is this a separate set of social media accounts from our existing business social media accounts that only address / relate to the Udemy courses?   

 

I ask because consulting business (and website, SM, etc) have existed since 2014.  But due to the C-Virus, the consulting business is almost non-existing for L&D Trainers.  So I am pivoting the existing skills to create a series of Udemy eLearning courses.   I need to retain the consulting website and social media.  Having both will give me choices when there is a downturn (like now).   

Any thoughts?  

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Nice idea, gathering email Id through website

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